Jake Malooley tracks down writer-director Paul Brickman, who more or less vanished after Risky Business.
John and Craig discuss the impact of author Orson Scott Card’s personal toxicity on Ender’s Game, and what it means for that movie and how it will this affect studio decisions moving forward.
John and Craig discuss Damon Lindelof’s interview about how plot stakes have escalated lockstep with budget, perhaps to the point of absurdity.
Craig and John take a look at one investor’s campaign against Sony Pictures, and George Clooney’s strong reaction. From there, we examine why studios have multiple labels — TriStar is back! — and how that affects writers.
In this special bonus episode, John and Craig answer listener questions from the 100th episode with help from guests Rawson Thurber and Aline Brosh McKenna.
John and Craig are joined by Aline Brosh McKenna and Rawson Thurber for the 100th episode of Scriptnotes, recorded live at the Academy Lab in Hollywood. It was a great night with an amazing audience.
John and Craig sit down with screenwriter-turned-psychotherapist Dennis Palumbo to discuss writer’s block, procrastination, partnerships and more. It’s a can’t-miss episode for aspiring writers and professionals alike.
John and Craig discuss the Apple ebook price-fixing lawsuit and its lessons for Hollywood, before segueing to the new credits system for producers. Then: Have movies gotten too long, and would making them shorter really save money?
Have first acts gotten shorter, or does it just feel that way? John and Craig discuss the pressure on screenwriters to “get to it” faster, and why that’s often the wrong goal.
John Hess gives a terrific overview of the history of the screenplay format, and how changes in the film industry changed how the words are arranged on the page.
Joss Whedon’s productivity advice is to figure out what you actually need to do, then do the most fun stuff first.
John and Craig discuss the death of the film industry as foretold by four prominent filmmakers. Is the way we make movies unsustainable? Is the system fundamentally broken, or just changing into something new? And why don’t we make romantic comedies anymore?
John and Craig tackle the bursting mailbag, answering listener questions on topics ranging from the variable length of the TV season to underachieving agents to embarrassing IMDb credits.
John and Craig discuss the polarizing potentate of Deadline Hollywood Daily, then segue into what a healthy entertainment journalism ecosystem might look like.
Chuck Wendig offers ten writing tricks, including an old standby that shouldn’t be forgotten.
Craig and John spend an entire episode discussing and dissecting 1989’s THE LITTLE MERMAID, looking at both its structure and scene work.
James Harbeck analyzes some of the common annoying sounds in teenage speech, many of which are hard to portray in dialogue.
The 22-year old twins at the center of my 1999 TV show D.C. were named Mason and Finley. Rare names at the time, but increasingly common.
It’s a week of pondering other people’s opinions. First, Craig and John take a look at the Bechdel Test: is it a useful metric for screenwriters, or just meaningless checkbox-ticking?
Justin Marks offers a look at what it’s like to be a working screenwriter you’ve never heard of.
How you get from one scene to the next can be just as important as the scenes themselves. Craig and John talk techniques and tactics for making those cuts count.
Has a statistician cracked the code on successful screenplay formulas? John and Craig cast a skeptical eye at a New York Times article on Vinny Bruzzese, who claims to have done exactly that.
John and Craig discuss when to stop rewriting a project and accept that it’s just not going to become a movie. Then we go bigger to look at when to give up on the dream of being a screenwriter — which starts with a hard look at why people seek out the career in the first place.
For screenwriters, John McWhorter’s TEDTalk on texting grammar is a useful reminder of the differences between how people talk and how they write. Speech is made up of word clusters with no discrete punctuation. Because speech is almost always dialogue — you’re usually speaking with somebody — it’s structured in a way that allows interruption. […]
Craig leads the discussion on how to survive a notes meeting. As screenwriters, our instinct is to defend, deny and debate — but these are almost always the wrong choice. By reframing the discussion about the movie rather than the script, you can often end up at a better place.